Plumbing pipes can be confusing, so we’re going to be looking at five popular types of plumbing pipes that can be used throughout the home.


PVC Pipe

Polyvinyl chloride pipe, known as PVC, is a plumbing pipe made for draining or vent lines. This material is notoriously easy to work with and install compared to its galvanized steel predecessors, requiring very few tools to cut and are assembled with glues.

PVC pipe is inexpensive with easy to read diameters. Unfortunately, they have to be cut to be separated, are more prone to leak because they are glued, and degrade in sunlight.


PEX Pipe

Cross-linked polyethylene pipe, known as PEX pipe, is a new and popular pipe made only for supplying water. PEX is strong enough to handle water pressure but can give enough to maneuver through walls, basements, and crawl spaces. It’s a favorite of those who like to do their own home projects as well as the pros.

PEX pipe is color-coded blue for cold and red for hot, inexpensive, is compatible with push-fit plumbing and copper, and easily cut. Sadly, they have the potential to leak with push-fit plumbing and they cannot be recycled.


ABS Pipe

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene pipe, known as ABS pipe, is a drain and vent pipe and looks similar to PVC except it’s black and much more flexible.

It’s also stronger than PVC, is excellent for use under ground, and performs well in cold temperatures. Unfortunately, it is normally not permitted for use by building codes and can become deformed at certain temperatures.


Rigid Copper Pipe

Rigid Copper pipe is popular for use of water supply lines inside the house due to not having health risks and can be easily cut with a special tool or a hacksaw. However, it takes someone with experience to attach the pipes by soldering.

Although rigid, these pipes can bend a bit, are made to handle heat and pressure, and easily recycled. Sadly, it’s more expensive, can develop pinhole leaks, and may eventually corrode inside.


     Flexible Copper Pipe

    This pipe, or tubing, is used for the short, final run of a water heater, refrigerator, and sometimes sinks. It can easily be cut with a hacksaw and bend around corners.

    It can handle extreme heat, but is expensive, thin, and can easily break.



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